The Bogus Allegations that Bell Stole the Telephone Led to an Infamous Scandal.

But the biggest scandal of the Cleveland Administration erupted when New York newspapers discovered Pan-Electric had bribed U.S. Attorney General Augustus Garland to work with them and bring the suit against Bell. Garland received $500,000 worth of shares in Pan-Electric, and Secretary of the Interior L.Q.L. Lamar and other key authorities also received shares. On page 150, Ms. Booth says that the patent examiner Zenas Wilber “showed Alec the sections where Gray had described something similar to the undulating current described in Alec’s patent application.” She believes Bell was able to invent the telephone after seeing the liquid transmitter in Gray’s patent.

Thomas Nast repeatedly mocked the evidence against Bell that Katie Booth believes, which was cooked up to try to steal the telephone patent. The bribing of Attorney General Garland became a major scandal and was investigated at length by Congress.

Ms. Booth repeats these spurious claims without context. The allegations were made in an affidavit that was signed long after the event by the patent examiner Wilbur, who was by then a penniless alcoholic. He changed his testimony and signed the affidavit drafted for him by the lawyers for Pan-Electric Telephone in which he alleged that he had showed Gray’s patent caveat to Bell.

In other words, Ms. Booth’s unqualified “facts” come from a discredited affidavit written by lawyers for a company caught bribing the highest levels of the U.S. government. They have no credibility.